I'm sitting in my favourite Costa at Todhills Carlisle, and I'm just so tired that for safety I decided to ask if I could swap my booking from Lancaster M6 Travelodge to Carlisle Todhills, and in the swift click of a hospitality mouse, it was done and myself and my small Cavalier King Charles Gretel, were in our room, newly refurbed and looking very smart. On that front I decided to take the rug from the car into the room so monster feet would not mess anything up ! She is going with me to my daughters for Christmas, and after chatting about it, have formulated a plan to make Sara's Jack Russell integrate with another dog! Guiness the JR is not renowned for her partiality to other canine interlopers ! We have the cages, we have the will, Gretel is a subservient little person, so let's go ! Fingers crossed............
The two G's - let battle commence
Well what a week. After the Guildhall audition and school plays, I then went to the Seaford Carol Service in Chichester Cathedral on Friday evening. My daughter was musical director helped by a pianist, the school organist and the school chaplain. It was superb, even the prep school choir sang with sweet and well matched tone. The Chapel Choir were quite remarkably beautiful. I can hear sound in Sara's singers which take me back to the Lampard Ensemble, and further back to my old choir the Middleton Singers. The style and sound is so recognisable, the purity of tone has passed down the musical line, from Betty Middleton, via myself, to Sara in London, Miranda in Durham and Anthea in Hampshire. One lives in hopes that it will go down the line even further. Middy would be as pleased a punch, I can hear her laugh and see her peering over her half spectacles always wanting a ever more beautiful sound and even more snappily clear words.
It was almost a festival of nine lessons and carols, just a little shorter, and the traditional congregational carols were interspersed with the Willcock arrangement of In Dulci Jubilo, Deck the Halls, a simple but sweet Carol which Sara sang in her school choir, run by me, all those years ago, The Carol of the Questioning Child, which she allowed as the vehicle to spread about number of solo lines. A most beautiful Carol which I had never heard was Lulla Lulla by Stopford, and how glorious it was. She manages to pull the very best out of the youthful voices, so the tone was crystal clear, sparkling and most touching. Our own Ruby who started there this September was a fine soloist in this soaring over and over again to the top A's with ease and lovely warm tone quality.
Once again I am so proud of the wonderful teacher and inspiration Sara has become, she is carrying the Middy banner with the highest flying colours, and thank God for it.
What limitless opportunities Ruby will have now her educational horizons have been so broadened. She has settled, after initial homesickness, and looks happy and confident. I look at her happy face, integrating with all these new youngsters, and am SO glad that I suggested her trying for it all those months, and possibly years ago ! She has performed in so many prestigious places in the last month, to hundreds of people, that fear is no longer apparent - now don't get me wrong, fear is always there for any performer worth their salt, but taking it in ones stride is what we hope for, and that is what I saw ! She has been stretched academically, which is great, and she is delivering the higher expectations, and getting high marks in her tutor groups. The world is definitely her proverbial oyster ! See the three generation photo, complete with chorister robes - who would have thought it..................
Make the most of this opportunity Ruby ! It comes but once !